Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Kalle Rovanperä learned plenty of lessons about rough road rallying at last weekend’s Rally Turkey.
The 19-year-old completed the toughest event of his WRC career in fourth place, gaining crucial points which, alongside those harboured by winner Elfyn Evans, enabled Toyota to stretch its manufacturers’ championship lead over Hyundai Motorsport.
“It was nice that I was learning a lot about how to use this car in this kind of condition and how to save the tyre – so I think that made this a good weekend,” Yaris driver Rovanperä explained.
“For me, the biggest thing I learned was how to drive in a way that will save the tyres more and then once we are using the tyres, how to manage the wear at these really slow speeds in the championship.”
The Finn pointed to his championship aspirations as another positive from Turkey, adding: “I don’t know about the [overall drivers’ championship] but we are in the fight for the third place and that’s nice.
“We have two more rallies and hopefully we can take good points from both of them,” he added.
It has already been a remarkable rookie season for Rovanperä, who is tied in third place in the standings with world champion Ott Tänak on 70 points, five ahead of the Estonian’s Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville.
Evans leads on 97 points, with Sébastien Ogier 18 points behind in second.